Flu Vaccines: Big Pharma’s $3 Billion a Year Money Maker

The flu vaccine is big news every year, but the flu is still a highly contagious disease that causes thousands of doctor’s visits, hospitalizations and missed days of school and work every year. While most vaccines are highly effective at preventing the spread of disease, each year’s flu vaccine is really a hit-or-miss every year. The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on the strains used and whether those specific strains are active during that particular flu season.

The Flu Strain Guessing Game

The flu vaccine is created using specific strains of the flu virus. Usually, several flu strains are combined in varying amounts in an attempt to provide increased protection from several flu viruses. A new vaccine is made each year using different strains of the virus. The specific viral strains in the vaccine are chosen based on how active the stains are expected to be during the upcoming year.

This guessing game means that the shot provides virtually no protection again the flu if Big Pharma guesses the active viruses incorrectly. The 2017 flu season, for example, is largely caused by the H3N2 flu strain, but the 2017 vaccine doesn’t provide protection against the H3N2 flu virus.

As a result, the initial 2017 vaccine was ineffective, resulting in a staggering number of flu cases reported by people who were vaccinated. The 2017 flu season isn’t the first time that Big Pharma has failed to deliver on their promises. In fact, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is both questionable and controversial, even when the strains in the vaccine match the active strains.

Putting a Number on Prevention

The overall effectiveness of the flu vaccine is around 30 percent, even when the vaccine contains strains of the season’s most active viral strains. This mean that when you, or anyone else, gets a flu shot, there is only a 30 percent chance that the vaccine is going to prevent the virus. During the 2017 flu season, the flu shot has an estimated effectiveness of only 10 percent. According to Big Pharma, the 2017 flu shot is so ineffective only because it was made with the wrong strains.

The 2017 flu is largely caused by the H3N2 virus, a virus that is noted for causing severe symptoms. The severe symptoms of H3N2 may contribute to the overall response of both citizens and Big Pharma. People with severe symptoms are more likely to seek medical care, resulting in more flu cases being reported to monitoring organizations like the CDC.

The Flaw in Reported Effectiveness

Even though the actual number of flu cases may not vary significantly from year to year, more cases are often reported when the virus causes severe symptoms. The increased reporting in 2017 doesn’t mean that more people are catching the flu than in previous years, only that more cases are being reported.

This fatal flaw in reporting allows Big Pharma to continue giving the flu vaccine despite an admitted effectiveness that is under 50 percent even on the best year, or during years when the strains in the vaccine match the active flu strains.

The poor performance of the 2017 flu vaccine has put the spotlight on Big Pharma. More people are now questioning whether getting the flu shot is worth the risk or investment, especially when many people who were vaccinated ended up with the illness.

The $3 Billion Truth About Your Flu Shot

Big Pharma has responded to the overwhelming number of flu cases in 2017 by stating the vaccine simplicity doesn’t contain the particular flu strain that is responsible for spreading the illness this season. With a vaccine that prevents just 10 percent of flu cases, the guessing game of creating a flu vaccine has proven that every annual vaccine is a gamble that can big effects on your health.

Big Pharma has also failed to admit the overall effectiveness of the vaccine is astoundingly low. The flu shot earns pharmaceutical companies an average of $3 billion annually. With profits like $3 billion a year at stake, the chances of hearing the truth about the flu vaccine, or any other lucrative medicine, is probably pretty close to zero.

Assessing The 2017 Flu Vaccine

Although the flu vaccine was ineffective against H3N2, Big Pharma continued to recommend the vaccination to prevent the flu. The distinct lack of concern for the risks associated with getting an ineffective vaccination is just one way Big Pharma ignores the whole health of the person in favor of profits.

When taking any vaccination or medicine, the first question to ask is whether the benefits outweigh the risks. In some cases, the benefits of vaccines and medicines allow people to live happier, healthier lives without suffering from serious illnesses. In the case of taking an ineffective vaccination, one has to stop and ask whether the potential risks outweigh the virtually nonexistent benefits.